Econet Wireless Group CEO, Craig Fitzgerald
Econet just sent out a press release on the acquisition of Telecel Central African Republic and Leo Burundi. Essentially they confirm the acquisition as announced by Vimpelcom earlier today. In the release, Econet avoids the name “Telecel” completely, referring to the operations as just “assets” of Vimpelcom in Burundi and C.A.R.
There’s also no mention of what the plans are with these assets. That is, is Leo in Burundi going to be merged to Econet Burundi and will Telecel C.A.R. be rebranded to Econet C.A.R. or something? The release also deliberately makes effort to clarify that Econet Zimbabwe is not Econet Wireless Global and that it’s a mere subsidiary of the global company the same way other country operations are.
Here’s the full release:
Econet Wireless Global has acquired the assets of Russian global telecoms operator, Vimpelcom, in the Eastern and Central African countries of Burundi and Central African Republic.
Econet Wireless Group CEO Mr Craig Fitzgerald confirmed a statement on the transaction made by Vimpelcom to the Cairo Stock Exchange.
“Yes, I can confirm that our Mauritius registered telecoms holding company, Econet Wireless Global, has acquired Vimpelcom’s two operations in Burundi and Central African Republic,” said Mr Fitzgerald.
Econet Wireless Global has operations and investments in telecommunications businesses throughout Africa, the UK, Asia Pacific and Latin America. It also holds the controlling interest in Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, which is listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE).
Mr Fitzgerald said the acquisition did not affect in anyway trading by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe. “Econet Wireless Global owns a majority stake in the Zimbabwe operation, and it is not the other way round. I know many people make this mistake of thinking that because our Zimbabwean subsidiary is listed, it is also the holding company of all our businesses. That is not the case. Econet Wireless Zimbabwe does not own businesses outside Zimbabwe,” he said.
He said Econet Wireless Global is not a listed holding company and had no plans to do so. Econet Wireless Global is also the parent company of Liquid Telecom, which operates Africa’s largest satellite and fibre optic system, with the latter spanning 12 countries.
Econet Wireless Global is itself a wholly owned subsidiary of Econet Wireless Group, a privately held group controlled by leading African industrialist, Strive Masiyiwa, who is based in the United Kingdom.
The group’s interests extend beyond telecoms into areas like renewable energy, financial services and hospitality. It also owns the majority interest in US based Seldon Technologies, which produces nano-carbon filtration systems.